You Heard It Here First

Since New Mexico governor Bill Richardson has just received his Cato "B," I want to get on record now (i.e., early enough that it will be forgotten when I turn out to be wrong) with a prediction I've been making for a couple weeks. Bill Richardson will be the Democratic candidate for President in 2008. He'll be a good one too: He's a governor, he's not Northeast, he's likable, he'll be acceptable to the left, the moderates and the party hacks, he's folksy, he's even fatter than Bill Clinton was in Old '92, and he's got the "ethnic" wild card. In fact I'll give you two predictions for the price of one: You'll know Bill Richardson is going to be the candidate when he starts referring to himself as Bill "Perez" Richardson or Bill "Big Cloud" Richardson.

Get in on the action now! See my bookie for details.

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  • ||

    Shouldn't that be "heard it here?"

  • ||

    You seem to making an error that is common among economic conservatives; assuming that the people you're studying will act rationally and in their self interest.

    Frank/Boxer in 08!

  • ||

    Bill Richardson = bimbo eruption.

    He will never run.

  • ||

    I've heard that Jeb has his bimbo problems too so they might cancel each other out. Plus I'm not sure bimbos have the power they once had. I think as long as it's hetero and above the age of consent you can tough it out.

    Assuming Jeb's a'runnin' . . . Frist is too weird. Cheney's too old. Condi's single.

  • ||

    "Condi's single." And black. And female. And doesn't seem particularly comfortable spouting off about Jesus.

    I hope it's Frist, if only to see how "cat murderer" gets worked into the campaign. I mean, you can't just come right out and say your opponent is a cat murderer. But you can't just leave something like that lying on the table, either.

  • ||

    Actually, who are the top GOP contenders? Frist is too dull, Cheney's too old and has a bum ticker, Condi is an intriguing possibility, but strikes me more as a second banana type, Guiliani is a joke, Pataki is even worse. The Gov. of Colorado is a nonentity [can't even remember his name], Arnie can't run. Who does this leave, Jeb?

  • ||

    Actually, who are the top GOP contenders? Frist is too dull, Cheney's too old and has a bum ticker, Condi is an intriguing possibility, but strikes me more as a second banana type, Guiliani is a joke, Pataki is even worse. The Gov. of Colorado is a nonentity [can't even remember his name], Arnie can't run. Who does this leave, Jeb?

    The governor of Idaho, obviously.

  • ||

    You seem to making an error that is common among economic conservatives; assuming that the people you're studying will act rationally and in their self interest.

    Well, you got me there, joe. And generally I try to avoid that kind of thing.

  • ||

    Mitt Romney - though some people believe Republican primary voters would be afraid of a non-Christian.

    John McCain - again, though, not big on the "Jesus wants you to vote for me" shtick.

    And I'm not so sure Guiliani is such a joke among the general public.

  • ||

    Mitt Romney is probably a better contender than Dirk Kempthorne [Gov. of Idaho] but both have equally ridiculous names. McCain would make a great candidate, for the Democratic Party, but is no so well liked among the GOP caucus. Guiliani is waay to leftie for Republican primary voters, a fact which candidates Santorum and Brownback will be more than happy to point out in Iowa.

  • Mike||

    I want to see a Richardson/Rendell ticket. 800 pounds of Executive power!

  • Jesse Walker||

    Gary Johnson is rumored to be mulling a run. He won't get nominated, but I'd love to see him inject the drug war into the campaign.

  • ||

    Gary Johnson! I was hoping for him for libertarian cadidate, but republican would be even better.

    Especially if the rapture happens ansd all the holly rollers get assimilated!

  • ||

    Over at tradesports.com, Richardson shows a 5% chance of being the nominee. Hilary is over 40%. Betting on Richardson pays off more than 20 to 1 - even a $1 bet will pay for your Reason subscription.
    So far, Tim's endorsement has not moved the market.

    On the Republican side, McCain, Guiliani and Frist are all in the low double digits, with Condi at about 9%.

  • ||

    Mitt Romney - though some people believe Republican primary voters would be afraid of a non-Christian.

    Umm, I thought Mitt Romney was a Mormon. Although they are not traditional Mormons are Christians.

    However you are correct most Southern fundie types don't like Mormons. Maybe something to do with the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

  • ||

    GOP potentials are rather weak. Not nearly as many personalities as compared to the Dem potentials.

    Bill Owens in the Colorado gov. His stock is falling. Conservatives can't stand divorces.

    George Allen of Virginia is getting some recent pub. He's more charismatic and is more acceptable to the religious right than Guliani, McCain, etc.

    Nobody is putting much stock in a Hillary-Condi female smackdown?

  • ||

    Gary Johnson!, hell yeah, I'd register Republican just to vote for him in the Primary.

  • ||

    I don't think Condi is such a longshot at all.

  • ||

    My nightmare scenario is Jeb vs. Hillary. Either way we get somebody whose #1 qualification is a last name.

    Although gaius marius would probably say that it's good to take a step back toward hereditary rule...

  • ||

    Condi is an intriguing possibility, but strikes me more as a second banana type

    Yeah, but I think that's mostly because of her current position. George W.H. Bush once had a similar image, big-time. One of my ex-bosses once met Bush-1 while he was V.P. and told me, "He's kinda like you. Nice guy, but he has absolutely no presence. You could lose him in a phone booth." (We've both evolved our images a bit since then.)

    I think she is an intriguing possibility also.

    If Bill Richardson runs, though, it would be the first time I consider voting Democrat for president.

  • The Lonewacko Blog||

    If Hillary runs she'll probably get unexpected support from conservatives.

    As for Richardson, I see nothing at all wrong with this quote: "These are changing political times where our basic programs are being attacked. Illegal and legal immigration unfairly attacked. We have to band together and that means Latinos in Florida, Cuban-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, South Americans - we have to network better - we have to be more politically minded - we have to put aside party and think of ourselves as Latinos, as Hispanics, more than we have in the past."

    Viva Bill!

  • ||

    I don't see that the Republicans have a good candidate. Certainly not from within the Administration.

  • ||

    i'd shortlist gov. mark warner of virginia (the WSJ seems to really want him to run for some reason) and corzine, with an outside chance of spitzer down the stretch.

    sullivan o'course thinks hillary has it clenched, er clinched.

    oh an throw in obama or harold ford jr. as veep somewhere.

  • ||

    Ha. "Santorum and Brownback". Truth is funnier than fiction. I couldn't invent such a funny combination of two names if I tried.

  • ||

    How about Gary versus Bill? A dream matchup if I ever herd one!

  • ||

    condi is also childless... maybe if she and george started work on a love child soon, she might have a chance.

    oh and also the never having held elected office thing.

    jeb is a joke (altho it'd be fun to see him run). basically, i'm just holding out hope for arnie's amendment.

  • ||

    Romney won't make it out of the primary with his reasonable stem cell position. He needs to be against it to win over the true believers. I think Condi's race will be a bigger issue than people want/are comfortable believing. See: McCain mulatto love child.

  • ||

    Richardson shows up a lot on many Fox News shows. He's always smart, relaxed and very chummy. While many (most?) Democrats avoid Fox like the plague, he's smart enough to cultivate that audience.

  • Larry A||

    Too bad Jenna won't be 35 for another couple of cycles.

  • ||

    Richardson shows up a lot on many Fox News shows. He's always smart, relaxed and very chummy. While many (most?) Democrats avoid Fox like the plague, he's smart enough to cultivate that audience.

    That's great for the general election, but bad in the primaries.

    If Cato gives Richardson a "B", I'll have to take a careful look. I know, a "B" from Cato probably still falls far short of most people's purity tests here, but at the very least it's worth considering. The bigger problem is not his current stances, it's the stances he'll be forced to take as standard bearer for the national party, and the other members of his coalition who will get powerful positions in the executive branch.

    Then again, even a moderate Republican would have to put some distasteful members of his coalition into powerful positions as well. Such is the nature of politics. Sigh...

  • ||

    The fact that the neo-knownothing "close the borders" morons don't like Richardson is by itself reason enough for me to support him.

  • ||

    I have persuaded myself that I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY know nothing about how Democrats pick candidates...didn't understand it when I was a kid, and considered myself a Democrat (Eugene McCarthy, Edmund Muskie, and - sorta - Jimmy Carter...kinda one half for three).

    Richardson sounds interesting, and I would guess would be my choice. It's nice to have a name besides Kerry, Edwards (both NOT), Gore (maybe...he will run, I'd guess) and Hillary - who, I assume, has a real chance. And someone will show up between now and then.

    I feel I could guess a bit better on Republicans.

    JEB and Pataki and Arnie won't run.
    Frist and Romney and the Colorado guy will...and won't do well.
    Condi COULD run, but could only get a VEEP spot - and she gets that for free, if she likes.
    Giuliani is the current favorite...and my favorite. But others will show up meantime.

    The Republicans don't need a Social Conservative next time. They have had one for eight years. The Christians don't call the shots, and will vote Republican, anyway. They WILL need someone who is plausible on national security...and so will the Democrats - this is Hillary's strongest point.

  • ||

    I think Condi's race will be a bigger issue than people want/are comfortable believing.

    Yes, but in the opposite direction of what you may suspect. See below.

    See: McCain mulatto love child.

    As an ex-Republican who still leans a bit rightish:

    - I don't even recall hearing that about McCain. I can see how the issue of "fathering a child without marrying the mother or supporting the kid" would gain the most traction on the Right. Race, less so. Unless there is an opportunity to imply he also took advantage of a poor black woman, to boot.

    - I think her race can only help her on the Right. She's African-American and conservative. Again, as an ex-Republican, let me tell you that we love(d) that shit! Loved it when Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court! They loved (to a lesser extent) Colin Powell (until it turned out he wasn't all that conservative).

    Nothing the Right loves more than putting the Left in the position of having to attack a black person.

    If Condi Rice ran with Clarence Thomas as her veep, plenty of Republicans would utterly shit themselves with joy.

  • ||

    I'm putting my money on the Rice vs Clinton smackdown. What an awesome moment in history that would be! Breaks all the final barriers, whether real or imagined. I'm watching her. I'm interested in seeing if she uses this position to show us who she really is--if she's got the fortitude to step outside of Bush's tight corral or not. If she just continues to be the yes-woman, I'll be disappointed.

  • ||

    --The Republicans don't need a Social Conservative next time. They have had one for eight years. The Christians don't call the shots, and will vote Republican, anyway.

    Oh, if only that were true. I think the Social Conservatives might very well have more pull during the process next time, largely due to Rove's pandering to them over the years. It takes a very special kind of politician to keep all the factions in place. Reagan, Clinton and Bush II all had/have the mojo. Bush I wasn't so lucky. Most of the candidates that have been suggested are either colorless wonks who will get eaten alive by the Religious Right or are Ultra Christian nuts who will alienate everyone else.

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    Of course, personally, I would be thrilled by a Rice v. Clinton smackdown, especially if the debates were conducted in a large tub of jello. With Will Ferrell as the referee.

  • ||

    Once upon a time Howard Dean received a "B" from Cato, and he used to brag about it. Don't know how much traction Cato's report card has in Democratic primaries... Hilllary Clinton will be hard to beat for the Dem nod, though she is poison for a substantial number of voters.

    Besides the tax issue, Bill Richardson is looking very good on medical marijuana -- New Mexico may be only the third state to adopt a statute through the legislative process.

  • ||

    Steven

    I disagree. Pro-choice next time for sure...and even the Christians will be secretly relieved.

    Condi is hot, but Hillary? Those legs?

    Clean forgot about McClain. He will run, and that will be good, because that will give Rudi someone sexy to beat.
    McClain is sort of a Republican Ted Kennedy - too self-absorbed to understand why people don't like him...but without the off-the-charts political positions, and he didn't put anyone in the river.

  • ||

    Oh great and terrible gods, please do not let John McCain or Hillary Clinton become the next president of the USA! I can't stand either one of them.

    This Richardson guy sounds intriguing, which probably means he doesn't have a chance in hell.

  • ||

    As an Arizonan I am insulted you haven't considered our governor, Janet Napolitano.

  • ||

    The Republicans don't need a Social Conservative next time. They have had one for eight years. The Christians don't call the shots, and will vote Republican, anyway.

    Depends. If the religious conservatives unite around one guy early in the primaries, while the socially moderate vote is split, then the social conservatives could very well control enough closed early primaries to cinch the nomination for one of their guys. Of course, the opposite could also happen, but conservatives (barring the far, far extremes, perhaps) seem to be good at uniting around a candidate. So I'd say that more likely than not they'll control the GOP primary.

    Now, if for some reason they don't get their guy nominated, and if they feel betrayed by 2008 (because, say, 2 or 3 Justices retire but abortion is still legal), then they may very well go 3rd party. In such a situation, if the GOP nominee were smart (always a dubious assumption when talking about politicians) he could write them off, declare that he is fiscally conservative but socially liberal, and siphon away so many centrists that he wins even without the social conservatives. The swing voters may not be libertarians to the extent that this forum would like, but a lot of moderates seem to respect the notion of being careful with money while staying out of people's private lives.

    That would be a truly earth-shattering election, for it would probably signal the end of the culture war, when the 2 major parties finally and decisively turn their back on the guys who have lost every cultural battle. Face it, premarital sex isn't taboo, pot is a joke even if it isn't legal, gays acceptance is growing rather than declining (even if it isn't where it should be), and so forth. Sure, a lot of people still get uptight over weird shit, and the laws aren't where we'd like them to be, but the culture has decisively rejected the theocrats, even if the government hasn't.

    All we need is for Bush to nominate a few Justices who don't overturn Roe vs. Wade, and for the theocrats to lose the 2008 GOP primary.

    It's a tall order, but it isn't an impossible one.

  • Brian||

    Douglas--

    This Arizonan seconds Janet Napolitano.

  • ||

    joe: "cat murderer"?! Wuzza?

  • ||

    Condi vs Hillary? Groan .... now there's some candidates only affirmative action could love. :)

  • ||

    The market hasn't moved in reaction to Cavanaugh's pronouncement because the smart money knows that without joe's endorsement Richardson is a dead letter.

  • ||

    "The Christians don't call the shots, and will vote Republican, anyway."

    I dunno. Just remember Clinton's success in the South against Bush I and Dole, both of whom were social conservatives (just not to the same extent as Bush II). I'm willing to bet that if a pro-choice, pro gay-rights candidate such as Giuliani or Arnold is nominated, the Dems will make significant inroads among the trailer-park fundie crowd, particularly if they nominate an effective big-government class-baiter such as Edwards or Hillary. Which is a big reason why the Republicans won't do it; the influence of the religious right on GOP primaries being the other - think of McCain's collapse in 2000.

    Speaking of Edwards, I'm surprised that no one appears to consider the Southern shyster a possible candidate. Both the tone and the rhetoric of his concession speech suggested that he had 2008 in mind.

    On the flip side, if the Republicans do nominate (as I expect) someone who's as much of a stooge to the religious right (or close to it) as Bush, then the likelihood of a candidate like Richardson or Tennessee's Phil Bredesen getting the nod goes higher. In such circumstances, the Dems might resign themselves to the fact that they can no longer command the support that they once had from blue-collar voters, and would feel comfortable about maintaining their traditional support from social liberals. Ergo, they would be less worried about making a concentrated push for middle-class fiscal conservatives and centrists, including those who are pro-gun and/or relatively hawkish on foreign policy.

    I suspect the bottom line here is that the nomination of a less statist candidate from one party will increase the likelihood of a more statist candidate from the other, and vice versa.

  • ||

    What is Bush's Cato rating?

  • ||

    We give Bush a -66. Here's the breakdown:

    Free-wheeling pork-barrel honeypot rustler: -20
    Civil liberties stomper: -22
    Steel Protectionist: -10
    Theocrat: -14

  • ||

    Andrew:

    Giuliani is the current favorite...and my favorite

    Geez Andrew, a big spending, big regulating politician who happens to be a Republican is still a big spending, big regulating politician. There's no progress to be made with Giuliani. Giuliani even endorses Democrats if he thinks that it will help keep other people's tax money rolling into NYC.

    The Republicans in congress tend to be far more fiscally frugal than the Dems...

    http://www.ntu.org/main/components/ratescongress/

    ...but Bush is a unrepentant big spender and there's every reason to think that Giuliani would be even worse.

  • ||

    I feel I could guess a bit better on Republicans. JEB and Pataki and Arnie won't run.
    Frist and Romney and the Colorado guy will.


    The Colorado guy is Bill Owens, and he recently won the Club for Growth/Cato "Governor of the year" award and earned an "A" grade.

  • ||

    A group of Dems has emerged in congress who are advocating a program that is far more fiscally restrained than Bush's:

    "National Taxpayers Union Applauds "Blue Dog" Spending Reform"

    Today the non-partisan NTU strongly backed a number of the spending discipline and government accountability provisions proposed by the caucus of Democratic House Members, and urged fiscally-conservative lawmakers in both parties to enact sensible constraints on the growth of government.

    "Conservative lawmakers represented by the Republican Study Committee (RSC) have been sounding an often-lonely alarm bell over the need to reverse runaway federal spending," said NTU Economic Policy Analyst Tad DeHaven. "However, with the Blue Dog Democrats now offering serious ideas on how to change the course of our fiscal ship, conditions are ripe to make desperately needed bipartisan repairs to the faulty rudder that has been steering the budget process into a sea of red ink."

    The Blue Dog Democrats' plan contains many proposals that NTU aggressively backed at the beginning of this Congress when they were first proposed by the House Republican Study Committee, such as requiring bills calling for more than $50 million in new spending to be put to a roll call vote, ending abuses of the "emergency" spending designation, and repealing the "Gephardt Rule" that allows lawmakers to raise the federal debt limit automatically with the Budget Resolution.

    But NTU also supports other, unique elements of the Blue Dog package, which would:

    Cap discretionary spending for the next three years at 2.1 percent -- lower than the President's proposal;

    Force Members of Congress to justify earmarked pet projects (pork) in writing;
    Freeze the budget of any federal agency that fails to pass an audit;


    Require Members to be given at least three days to read the final text of legislation.

    This is good stuff and there's more:

    http://www.ntu.org/main/press_release.php?PressID=700&org_name=NTU

  • ||

    joe,

    Remember when you were concerned that the NTU might have a pro GOP bias? Check out the above post and link.

  • ||

    Rick-

    Do the blue dog Democrats also get good marks from the ACLU? From a quick look at their site it was hard to tell. If they did, well, that would be a group that I could support. At least on domestic policy.

    In any case, their fiscal proposals are worthwhile.

  • ||

    Living in Colorado and having regular exposure to Bill Owens, I can tell you that I don't see him getting any traction at the national level. He's too effete and the rumors about his divorce will be poison in the South.

  • ||

    Douglas, Janet Napolitano is not going to be nominated because everybody believes she is a huge lesbian...

  • ||

    She's really not that big, she's just kind of flabby, you know?

  • ||

    Do the blue dog Democrats also get good marks from the ACLU?

    Good question, thoreau. And it would be especially interesting to see how they voted on Patriot Act related matters. I have a hunch that we'd be disappointed but it's still great that this small group of Dems in congress is making league with the limited government oriented Republican Study Committee.

    I think that it would be a good idea to approach other Dems in congress and say, "Why don't you folks attack Bush for his irresponsible big spending ways, the way the blue dog Democrats do?" It might, at least, persuade them to reign in their own irresponsible big spending ways a little bit.

  • ||

    poco,

    "joe: "cat murderer"?! Wuzza?"

    When he was in medical school, Bill Frist used to adopt cats from shelters and elsewhere, saying he would give them a nice home. Then, he'd bring the cat home, kill it (humanely - we're not talking junior serial killer or anything) and practice his surgical skills. Seriously.

    It's half gold, half poison for any opponent who wants to bring it up.

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